Mwg Coffa’r Rhyfel Mawr

Ar 18 Gorffennaf 1919, cyflwynwyd mygiau coffaol i 455 o ddisgyblion yn Ysgol Ferched Caerffili i nodi diwedd y Rhyfel Mawr pan lofnodwyd y Cytundeb Heddwch yn Versailles.  Roedd y mygiau hefyd yn ddiolch am y gwaith rhagorol a wnaeth y staff a’r disgyblion yn yr ysgol dros y 5 mlynedd flaenorol i gefnogi’r ymdrech ryfel.

Yn ystod wythnosau cyntaf y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf edrychai ysgolion ledled Cymru am ffyrdd o gefnogi’r ymdrech ryfel. Yn aml, ysgolion merched ymatebodd yn gyntaf, gyda chynigion ymarferol iawn i ddarparu dillad ychwanegol i’r milwyr yn Ffrainc. Roedd Ysgol Ferched Caerffili yn un o’r rhai cyntaf i ddeall sut y gallai helpu. Bedair wythnos ar ôl dechrau’r rhyfel nododd y Brifathrawes, Miss Morgan, y canlynol yng nghofnodlyfr yr ysgol:

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In consequence of a great European War in which our country is engaged as Protector of Belgium, a Neutral State, & eventually to carry out her obligations to France, as per agreement against Prussian Militarism, the girls in the three upper classes have been anxious to do something for our gallant soldiers. In order to minister somewhat to their comfort, they have decided each, to knit a pair of socks or comforter. They have therefore undertaken to collect the money to pay for the wool, and as a result of their efforts, the sum realised is £7-14-0 [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 4 Medi 1914, ECG13/3 t.35]

Ym mis Hydref roedd y swmp cyntaf o hosanau a myfflers gwlân yn barod ac ar ei ffordd i Lundain:

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The first parcel of socks and mufflers knitted by the girls, viz:- 32 pairs of socks and 23 mufflers were sent to-day to the Lady-in- Waiting to the Queen, Devonshire House. They had been washed and pressed, gratis, at the local laundries [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 29 Hyd 1914, ECG13/3 t.38]

Cyfraniad bach, ond cyfraniad pwysig, i les y milwyr. Dair blynedd yn ddiweddarach, gyda’r rhyfel bellach yn ei bedwaredd flwyddyn, roedd merched Caerffili yn dal i gael ac ymateb i geisiadau am fwy o ddillad gan filwyr a morwyr:

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We have been asked to begin work afresh for the soldiers & sailors again. The Hon. Sec. of the Cardiff Branch, Women’s Advisory Com. War Work Mrs J. Price Williams has sent on 24lbs of wool to make up, & the senior class has commenced in earnest this afternoon [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 21 Medi 1917, ECG13/3 t.106]

Mae’n bosibl, drwy ofyn am wlân ym 1917, y cydnabuwyd wrth i’r rhyfel barhau ei bod yn anos i deuluoedd lleol gyfrannu arian at yr amryw apeliadau a wnaed ar ran y milwyr, y morwyr a’u dibynyddion. Amlygodd cofnodlyfr Miss Morgan yr anawsterau a wynebai pobl leol yng Nghaerffili wrth i’r rhyfel arwain at brinder bwyd a thanwydd, a gwneud i bris nifer o nwyddau sylfaenol godi. Dywedodd y Brifathrawes ym mis Rhagfyr 1916:

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The weather is still very miserable and there is much sickness, many girls being very badly shod owing to the great increase in the price of boots, and other commodities which are the dire results of disastrous war which has raged during the past twenty –nine months [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 tt.89-90]

Ddeuddeg mis yn ddiweddarach, ni newidiodd fawr ddim:

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The attendance is still going down, sickness the chief reason. Owing to the strenuous circumstances arising out of the war, many are unable to attend owing to bad boots etc. [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 16 Tach 1917, ECG13/3 t.108]

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Owing to the shortage of butter etc. a large number of girls are kept at home for the purpose of taking their turns at the local grocers [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 13 Rhag 1917, ECG13/3 t.109]

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The attendance for the week is exceptionally poor, bad weather, sickness, together with the difficulty to procure the bare necessaries; consequence on the war conditions is responsible for this…. [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 21 Rhag 1917, ECG13/3 t.110]

Ond er gwaetha’r anawsterau ni fethodd yr ysgol fyth ag achub ar y cyfle i helpu’r ymdrech ryfel. Er enghraifft, bob Dydd Gŵyl Dewi, cyflwynodd y staff a’r disgyblion ‘adloniant’ yn y Castle Cinema, gyda’r perchennog, Mr Gibbon, yn cynnig iddynt ddefnyddio’r lle am ddim. Gwahoddwyd rhieni a theuluoedd i fynychu, a chafwyd casgliad. Ym 1916, ysgrifennodd Miss Morgan:

In addition to a short address on the Patron Saint, Welsh Airs and Recitations, short playlets illustrative of early periods in the history of our people have been got up in character by the various standards a) A Pageant of Welsh heroes, 2) A Legend of the Leek, 3) A Scene from Henry V after the Battle of Agincourt, 4) The opening Episode of the Welsh National Pageant.

The school will line up at 9.30 and they will march in procession to the above named hall. Mr Barker ex schoolmaster and famous harpist has promised to be present to give some selections on the harp and the members of the 2nd and 3rd Std on their own request are presenting him with a bouquet of spring flowers this being his birthday [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 1 Maw 1916, ECG13/3 tt.71-72]

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A silver collection was taken from the balcony which amounted to 26s which is to be sent on to Brigadier General Owen Thomas in aid of the Welsh Fund for Disabled Soldiers after the War [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 2 Maw 1916, ECG13/3 t.72]

Y flwyddyn ganlynol, nododd:

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St. David’s Day celebration at Castle Cinema. A collection, which amounted to 13/2d was made in the audience, and this will be duly handed over to Hon. Mrs Lloyd George, wife of the Prime Minister, towards the National Fund for Welsh Troops [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 1 Maw 1917, ECG13/3 t.93]

Ymddengys iddynt fanteisio ar bob cyfle i godi arian. Wythnos cyn gwyliau’r haf, ysgrifennodd Miss Morgan eto yn ei chofnodlyfr:

An entertainment has been arranged….Each class contributes one or more items for the programme and the senior girls are ready with a small play -The Sleeping Beauty. It has been suggested that where possible the scholars will bring a copper, and the full amount expended on wool, that the senior girls can be set on comforts for our brave soldiers and sailors, upon the opening of school after the recess [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 tt.89-90]

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The entertainment mentioned above was carried out and was heartily enjoyed by the scholars and staff. Sum Collected £3-2-7.The wool will be purchased and the record of work handed in to the Education Committee [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 22 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 t.90]

Mae’n bosibl y cafodd y merched eu hysbrydoli gan un o’u hathrawesau eu hunain, Miss Hughes, a wnaeth ym 1915 hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli i wasanaethu dramor fel nyrs:

Miss Hughes has taken the St. John’s Nursing course as a preparation for hospital work, and has got her certificate. The Education Committee has sanctioned her application, that of allowing her to take the month’s probation course on the understanding that the War Office appoint her afterwards for the duration of the “War” or at least for 12 months [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 2 Meh 1915, ECG13/3 t.53]

Noda cofnodlyfr yr ysgol iddi adael porthladd Gravesend ym mis Medi 1915 am yr Aifft. Nid oes cofnod bod Miss Hughes wedi dychwelyd i ymweld ag Ysgol Ferched Caerffili ond mae’n rhaid ei bod wedi achosi cryn gynnwrf wrth iddi adael i wasanaethu dramor. Hefyd, gyda’r penderfyniad i ganiatáu athrawesau priod i gadw eu swyddi tan ddiwedd y rhyfel, roedd gan nifer ohonynt ŵyr yn gwasanaethu ar y ffrynt. Cafodd o leiaf un o athrawesau Caerffili, Mrs Foxall, y newyddion trist bod ei gŵr wedi marw ar faes y gad yn Ffrainc.

Erbyn 1917, cydnabu’r Llywodraeth y potensial i godi arian i’r rhyfel drwy fanteisio ar frwdfrydedd ac adnoddau ysgolion. Gofynnwyd i’r holl ysgolion sefydlu systemau i werthu Bondiau Rhyfel:

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Received notification from the Chief Education Official that the Caerphilly Group of schools will be closed on Tuesday 22nd inst, in order that head teachers and their staff may attend a meeting, convened by the Secretary of the National War Savings Committee, Salisbury Square EC4…

The dire need of enlisting the full sympathy of the parents through the scholars in straining to the uttermost, the means of saving methodically & taking the advantage of the facilities now offered by the Government for small investors, & thereby helping to bring this gruesome war to an honourable end, is the object of calling the teachers together [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Mai 1917, ECG13/3 tt.97-98]

Pan ymwelodd y tanciau â Chaerffili a threfi eraill De Cymru ym Mehefin 1918, fel rhan o ymgyrch genedlaethol i annog pobl i brynu Tystysgrifau Cynilion Rhyfel, atebodd yr ysgol yr her drachefn:

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Visit of the tank Egbert to Caerphilly with the object of raising £100,000 for the purposes of the Great World War. The schools of the town were closed yesterday afternoon to celebrate the event [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 22 Meh 1918, ECG13/3 t.117]

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…As a result of special effort mentioned above 104 War Savings Certificates 15/6 each were purchased at the Tank on Saturday 22nd in connection with this department [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 26 Meh 1918, ECG13/3 t.117]

Ni ddaeth gwaith yr ysgol i ben ar ôl llofnodi’r Cadoediad ym mis Tachwedd 1918. Mae’r cofnodlyfr yn nodi bod plant wedi dal i werthu Bondiau Rhyfel a chynnal perfformiadau i godi arian i elusennau rhyfel ymhell i’r flwyddyn ganlynol. Roedd y mygiau a gyflwynwyd i’r holl ddisgyblion ar 18 Gorffennaf 1919 felly’n rhai haeddiannol. O gofnodion y Brifathrawes nid oes amheuaeth bod disgyblion Ysgol Ferched Caerffili – y 455 ohonynt – yn benderfynol o ddathlu diwedd swyddogol y rhyfel a’u cyfraniad ato:

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Children of school age are entertained today to tea at their respective school and when this is over the three departments of the school will march in procession through the town to the several fields kindly lent for their occasion where an interesting programme of events – sportive, will take place. The school that is, the class rooms are very tastefully decorated and all is now ready to make the happy event, forever remembered by the scholars. Number catered for 455 [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 18 Gorff 1919, ECG13/3 t.141]

Tony Peters, Gwirfoddolydd Archifau Morgannwg

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Bechgyn y Signalau: Leslie Evans a Philip Adams

Ym 1914, oedran gadael ysgol oedd 14 oed. Wrth i’r rhyfel fynd rhagddo, i ymateb i’r prinder llafur, nid oedd yn anghyffredin i awdurdodau addysg lleol ganiatáu i ddisgyblion adael yr ysgol cyn yr oedran gadael arferol. Mae llyfrau cofnodion ysgolion dros y cyfnod hwn, a gedwir yn Archifau Morgannwg, yn cynnwys nifer o enghreifftiau o blant ifanc yn cael caniatâd i adael yr ysgol cyn eu bod yn 14 oed i weithio ar ffermydd lleol. Ond efallai mai un o’r cofnodion rhyfeddaf yn llyfrau’r ysgolion oedd rhyddhau dau fachgen ifanc o Ysgol Uwchradd y Barri ym mis Tachwedd 1914. Ar 3 Tachwedd 1914, nododd y Pennaeth y canlynol:

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Two boys Leslie Evans (Add. No: 1320) and Philip Adams (Ass. No: 1385) both of school age were removed from the registers this morning. They have gone to sea as signallers in connection with the coaling of the Fleet and have been granted leave by the Education Committee for that purpose [Ysgol Uwchradd i Fechgyn y Barri, 3 Tach 1914, ESE3/5 t.48]

Ar yr adeg, nid oedd Philip Adams ond yn 13 oed. Roedd ei dad, o’r enw Philip Adams hefyd, yn wreiddiol o Gaint a symudodd y teulu o ardal Medway i gael gwaith yn nociau’r Barri, lle’r oedd y tad yn weithiwr dociau. Roeddent yn byw yn 21 Heol y Drindod, y Barri, ac roedd gan Philip bach ddwy chwaer a dau frawd. Roedd Leslie Evans yn fachgen lleol, ac er ei fod yn hŷn na Philip, 13 oed oedd yntau hefyd. Roedd ei dad, James, yn gweithio ar y rheilffyrdd fel tipiwr glo ac roedd y teulu’n byw yn 108 Porthkerry Road, y Barri.

Mae’n siŵr bod bwrlwm disymwth y rhyfel wedi bod yn gryn ysgytwad i’r bechgyn ifanc. Cawn nifer o gliwiau ynghylch y cefndir dros y penderfyniad hwn yn y papur newydd lleol, The Barry Dock News. Ar 28 Awst 1914, dair wythnos ar ôl dechrau’r rhyfel, argraffodd y papur newydd lythyr gan y Sgowtfeistr lleol, E Davies:

I would like to ask all lads who are ex-Scouts to rejoin again at once and also to ask all lads between the ages of 12 and 19 to join one or other of the Troops in the district. The Scouts throughout the country are doing excellent work and in our own town. We have Scouts employed in watching bridges, the reservoir, the viaduct and tunnel, assisting as messengers and orderlies at the hospitals and for the military, gathering money for the Prince of Wales Fund, collecting up old newspapers etc. [Barry Dock News, 28 Awst 1914]

Fel mewn rhannau eraill o Brydain, gweithredodd y sgowtiaid i helpu’r ymdrech ryfel ar unwaith. Ym misoedd cyntaf y rhyfel, roedd pobl yn ofni goresgyniad, ac roedd straeon braw dirifedi ynghylch ysbiwyr. Cyn i drefniadau cenedlaethol gael eu rhoi ar waith ym 1915 i’r Corfflu Hyfforddi Gwirfoddol – y Gwarchodlu Cartref lleol i bob pwrpas – roedd y Sgowtiaid yn hollbwysig wrth helpu i warchod gosodiadau a chysylltiadau allweddol. Ond, yn adran nesaf llythyr Mr Davies, gwelir dimensiwn newydd i’r cyfraniad a wnaed yn y Barri:

We have also been able to send away lads as Signallers in connection with our naval coaling and I have a large class under instruction now [Barry Dock News, 28 Awst 1914]

Cydnabuwyd bod glo De Cymru’n lo o safon. Felly roedd llynges fawr y llongau glo bychain yn y Barri’n arbennig o bwysig wrth gyflenwi tanwydd i’r llynges. Eglurodd y papur newydd lleol, mewn erthygl a gyhoeddwyd wedi’r rhyfel, pam fod angen ymrestru i helpu’r Sgowtiaid:

Officers in the Mercantile Marine had great difficulty in reading the signals given by the Royal Navy and the Shipping Federation approached the scout authorities at Barry asking for help by supplying signallers as a temporary measure. A class of thirteen boys was formed and trained by Mr E E Davies, assistant commissioner to the Land Scouts afterwards going to sea. Their ages varies between 13 and 18 [Barry Dock News, 5 Rhag 1919]

Roedd Philip Adams a Leslie Evans bron yn sicr yn rhan o grŵp o sgowtiaid lleol a gafodd eu hyfforddi i fod yn Signalwyr. Er gwaetha’r angen dirfawr i gael Signalwyr, roedd wrth gwrs amheuon ynghylch anfon bechgyn mor ifanc i forio, a phenderfyniad Pwyllgor Rheoli Ysgol y Barri oedd eu rhyddhau ai peidio. Cofnododd y Barry Dock Times ganlyniad y cyfarfod a gynhaliwyd ym mis Hydref 1914, pan ystyriwyd y mater o ryddhau’r tri bachgen yn 14 oed i ymuno â’r llynges:

Colonel J A Hughes CB wrote stating that twelve boys from Barry were prepared to go to sea as signallers on the Admiralty coaling ships. Three of the lads were attending the elementary schools. ‘We are employing older boys as far as possible’ the letter added ‘but it is absolutely necessary that these boys should be granted leave. The work they are doing is very important and they are doing it well. They are of very great service to the country and their work entails some danger’ [Barry Dock News, 30 Hyd 1914]

Adroddodd y papur newydd i gais y Cyrnol Hughes gael ei ‘gymeradwyo’n unfrydol’ a phedwar diwrnod yn ddiweddarach cadarnhaodd Pennaeth Ysgol Uwchradd i Fechgyn y Barri fod dau fachgen 13 oed o’i ysgol wedi ymadael.

Roedd sail gadarn i rybuddio pobl fod gwasanaethu ar long lo’n beryglus. Suddwyd nifer o longau glo bychain o borthladdoedd de Cymru gan longau tanfor yr Almaen, yn aml wrth iddo forio’n unigol ac yn ddi-arf cyn i’r llongau hyn ddechrau cael eu hamddiffyn gan y Llynges Frenhinol drwy ffurfio confois.

Mae’n debygol mai mesur dros dro oedd recriwtio bechgyn 13 oed, a bod Philip a Leslie yn ôl ar dir sych Prydain ymhen blwyddyn. Ond gwyddom y canlynol o’r Barry Docks News:

Of these thirteen gallant lads, two paid the supreme sacrifice, while war medals are to be awarded to the other scouts [Barry Dock News, 5 Rhag 1919]

Hyd y gallwn weld, ni chafodd Philip Adams na Leslie Evans eu hanafu yn ystod eu cyfnod ar y môr.

Roedd gan Ysgol Uwchradd y Barri ei chyfran o arwyr rhyfel. Er enghraifft, nodir yng nghofnodlyfr y Pennaeth sawl achlysur lle dyfarnwyd medalau i gyn-ddisgyblion yr ysgol:

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School closed this afternoon in celebration of the award of the Military Cross to 2nd Lieut. Reg Phillips, one of the old boys of this school.  A general assembly was held at the end of the morning session; and a wristwatch and fountain pen were presented to him [Ysgol Uwchradd i Fechgyn y Barri, 2 Tach 1917, ESE3/5 t.90]

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This afternoon a presentation was made to Albert Sylvester, one of the old boys of the school, who was also decorated with the Military Medal by the Chairman of the District Council [Ysgol Uwchradd i Fechgyn y Barri, 31 Mai 1918, ESE3/5 t.99]

Nid oes sôn am Philip Adams na Leslie Evans yn dychwelyd i’r ysgol. Serch hynny, dathlwyd eu cyfraniad nhw, ac eraill o Sgowtiaid y Barri, yn y wasg leol. Fel y dywedodd y Cyrnol Hughes, a gyflwynodd yr achos dros ryddhau’r bechgyn o’r ysgol ym 1914, tua phum mlynedd yn ddiweddarach – roedd y Signalwyr ifanc yn … fechgyn glew … a bod … hanes Sgowtiaid y Barri’n yn ystod y rhyfel yn un y bydd y cyhoedd yn ymfalchïo ynddo [Barry Dock News, 5 Rhag 1919]

Tony Peters, Gwirfoddolydd Archifau Morgannwg

“Milwr dewr a siriol”: Yr athro cyntaf o Forgannwg i farw ar faes y gad yn Ffrainc

Ymunodd dros 15,000 o athrawon â’r lluoedd arfog i ymladd yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Roedd yn rhaid i Benaethiaid gadw dyddlyfr o weithgarwch yr ysgol ac mae dyddlyfrau ysgolion Caerffili, sy’n cael eu cadw yn Archifau Morgannwg, yn adrodd straeon llawer o’r athrawon a fu’n ymladd yn y rhyfel.  Mae dyddlyfr Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber yn cynnwys stori arbennig o deimladwy sy’n cofnodi marwolaeth yr athro cyntaf o ardal Morgannwg i farw wrth wasanaethu yn y fyddin, William Clifford Harris.

Agorodd Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, gyda’r arwyddair ‘Gwell ymennydd na nerth bôn braich’, ym 1909 gan gynnig addysg i hyd at 250 o fechgyn o ardaloedd Abertridwr a Senghennydd. O hydref 1914 cyfeiriodd dyddlyfr yr ysgol, a gadwyd gan y Pennaeth George Davies, yn rheolaidd at staff yn gadael i ymuno â’r Lluoedd Arfog.

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During the holidays Mr W C Harris (U.T) joined the New Army and the staff is therefore short of one teacher [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 4 Ion 1915, ECG18/1 t.94]

Mr John A Roberts terminated his duties as Certificated Assistant here today. He has enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and proceeds to Farnborough tomorrow [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 27 Medi 1915, ECG18/1 t.109]

Mr W S Trigg left school today. He has been granted a Commission in the 23rd Pioneer Batt’ and will commence his new duties tomorrow [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 31 Hyd 1915, ECG18/1 t.111]

Mr Jno Ellis Williams returned to school today. He terminates his engagement at this school today and enters an O.T.C on 16th inst, after which he is taking a Commission offered him in the Welsh Guards [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 14 Rhag 1915, ECG18/1 t.112]

Mr Haydn P Williams terminated his duties as Student Teacher at this school having been today called up for military service [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 14 Ion 1916, ECG18/1 t.130]

Mr Herbert H Beddow (Student teacher) left on Military Service this morning [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 5 Maw 1917, ECG18/1 t.133]

O’r dyddlyfr a chofnodion eraill yn Archifau Morgannwg gallwn adeiladu darlun o William Clifford Harris. Yn ogystal â Chwmaber, bu’n ddisgybl yn Ysgol Lewis i Fechgyn, Pengam, ac mae gan Archifau Morgannwg gofnodion manwl ar gyfer yr ysgol ar gyfer y cyfnod hwn.

Roedd William Clifford Harris yn grwt lleol a aned yn Rhydri ym mis Ionawr 1895. Enw ei dad oedd William Harris ac felly, er mwyn gwahaniaethu rhwng y ddau, galwyd y plentyn wrth ei enw canol, Clifford. Bu’n byw yn Swyddfa’r Post, 16 Garth Place, Rhydri am y rhan fwyaf o’i oes. Groser a aned yn Rhydri oedd ei dad, ac roedd ei fam Ida o Stoke St Mary yng Ngwlad yr Haf. Roedd ganddo frawd, Harold, a 4 chwaer, a chafodd ei addysgu yn Ysgol Gyngor Rhydri i ddechrau. Ym mis Hydref 1907 cafodd ei dderbyn i Ysgol Lewis i Fechgyn. Gorffennodd ei addysg yn yr ysgol cyn cael lle fel athro-fyfyriwr yn Ysgol Gyngor Rhydri ym mis Hydref 1912, ac yntau’n 17 oed. Ar ôl hynny symudodd i Ysgol Fechgyn Cwmaber fel Athro Cynorthwyol Di-dystysgrif ar 17 Medi 1913.

Bedwar mis ar ôl dechrau’r rhyfel, ar 31 Rhagfyr 1914, ymrestrodd gyda’r Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig yng Nghaerffili. Ni chyflwynwyd gorfodaeth filwrol tan 1916, felly roedd Clifford, a oedd yn 19 oed ar y pryd, yn un o’r llawer o wŷr ifanc o dde Cymru a wirfoddolodd i wasanaethu. Ynghyd â recriwtiaid eraill 16eg Bataliwn y Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig, cwblhaodd Clifford ei hyfforddiant cychwynnol yng ngogledd Cymru, yn Llandudno fwy na thebyg, cyn symud gyda’r Bataliwn i Gaer-wynt ym mis Medi 1915 i gwblhau ei hyfforddiant cyn ei throi hi am Ffrainc. Mae dyddlyfrau’r ysgol yn nodi, cyn iddo adael am Gaer-wynt, ei fod wedi dychwelyd i dde Cymru ar wyliau a galw yn yr ysgol am glonc gyda’i gydweithwyr a’r disgyblion [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 26 Gorff 1915, ECG18/1 t.107].

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Yn drist iawn, chwe mis yn ddiweddarach, ychydig ddiwrnodau ar ôl pen-blwydd Clifford yn 21 oed, cofnododd George Davies yn y dyddlyfr:

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News reached the school today that one of our staff, Pte W C Harris, 16th Batt’ Royal Welsh Fusiliers, had been killed in action on Sunday, Jan 30th 1916.  He was shot by a German sniper in the chest, but continued firing until he was again shot in the head [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 7 Chwe 1916, ECG18/1 t.114]

Roedd 16eg Bataliwn y Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig, rhan o Fyddin Newydd Kitchener, wedi glanio yn Ffrainc ym mis Rhagfyr 1915 a symud i’r rheng flaen ger Neuve Chapelle ar 6 Ionawr. Yna symudodd y Bataliwn i ardal St Vaast ar 27 Ionawr a bu farw Clifford dridiau’n ddiweddarach. Ar 16 Chwefror, rhoddwyd y toriad canlynol o bapur newydd yn y dyddlyfr:

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Caerphilly Teacher Killed

At a meeting of the Caerphilly school managers yesterday (Councillor Joseph Howells presiding) a letter was read from Dr J. James, Chief Education official, stating that he had been informed that a teacher in the Caerphilly group – Mr W C Harris – had been killed in action. He was attached to the 16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers.  The Headmaster of the school had sought permission to affix a brass tablet to the wall in the school, on which would be engraved the names of any old scholars and teachers who gave their lives for their country.  The letter also stated that Mr Harris was the first teacher under the Glamorgan Authority who had made the great sacrifice in defence of his country. Votes of sympathy were passed with the relatives of both families, and it was decided to recommend that permission be given for the tablet to be placed in the school as requested [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 16 Chwe 1916, ECG18/1 t.115]

Nid oes rhagor o sôn am y llechen efydd yn nyddlyfr Ysgol Cwmaber, ac mae’n bosibl iddi gael ei cholli pan gaeodd yr ysgol ym 1973. Nid Clifford Harris oedd yr unig athro o Ysgol Cwmaber i golli ei fywyd yn y rhyfel. Ar 4 Mehefin 1917, cofnododd y dyddlyfr:

News has been received that L Corp JJ Wibley (a former teacher at this school) has died from the effect of wounds received in action in France [Ysgol y Bechgyn Cwmaber, 4 Meh 1917, ECG18/1 t.136]

Fodd bynnag, mae’n siŵr y bu marwolaeth Clifford, y cyntaf o lawer o athrawon ifanc o ardal Morgannwg a fu farw yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, yn sioc fawr, ac mae cofeb iddo ef a 12 o wŷr lleol eraill yn Eglwys Sant Iago, Rhydri. Ceir cofeb arall yng Nghapel Cynulleidfaol Ebeneser.

Sacred to the memory of Pte W Clifford Harris (16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers). Aged 21 years who was killed in action at St Vaast, France, January 30 1916. He died as he had lived. A brave and cheerful soldier.

Tony Peters, Gwirfoddolydd Archifau Morgannwg